So You’re Telling Me Broadway Isn’t Just Time Square?
I arrived at JFK last night with so much adrenaline pumping through my system I could barely function. I had heard so much about New York City and its benefits and drawbacks and I couldn’t wait to find out what it was like for myself. However the subway system leaves a lot to be desired and it took me an age to finally find out which way to go and then get to the subway station nearest my hostel. I’m not going to lie, when I booked my hostel and it said Broadway I had expected to be staying down the road from time square and would be able to hear the Lion King performance from my room. However I since learnt that Broadway spans the entire length of Manhattan so there’s really no point in booking a hostel simply because it’s on Broadway. It’s also worth checking that you are on the right Broadway. Try not to do what I did and book yourself onto the Broadway in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is slightly dodgy to say the least.
Anyway, facing up to my mistakes I got off the subway and stepped into my new world for the next couple of days. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of what it looked like as I refused to take my camera out for fear of it getting stolen, but that should provide you with a general picture of how I felt about the place at the time. I rushed around in the dark desperately searching for my hostel, constantly looking over my shoulder and finally found it. I dropped off my bag, locked up the valuables and headed straight out as it was almost 11pm and the only way to get through the jet lag was to keep moving. Thinking back on what I did next, it really does seem quite moronic. Having just spent half an hour panicking about how dodgy the area I staying in was, I decided that because I no longer had anything valuable on my person that I was immune to muggings and people would look straight through me. I must have been so tired. Not only did I decide to walk instead of getting the subway, I decided to walk to Manhattan via the Williamsberg Bridge. I just figured that the Hudson must be about the same size as the Thames and I’d be looking up at the Empire State Building within 20 minutes or so. When it got to the half hour mark and I’d not even made it halfway across the river, I was starting to think the Hudson is slightly bigger than I’d previously considered. It was also dawning on me that this is not a bridge that people decide to walk across as I’d only seen cyclists so far. This is probably because of the walkway being caged by thick orange bars, all but eliminating any chance of a view across Manhattan.
Once again, cursing my lack of planning, I finally made it to my destination: Manhattan Island. The change in atmosphere from crossing over from one side of the river to the other is astonishing. The area was bustling with young money and they filed into the obviously over priced and pretentious bars like cattle. Well dressed cattle but cattle nonetheless. I was incredibly underdressed for these places and didn’t particularly fancy spending my first night stateside being turned away by bouncers because my wallet wasn’t stacked with hundred dollar bills and/or I didn’t have a ridiculous playboy model on each arm. However I did manage to tick one thing off my bucket list which made the whole ordeal worthwhile: grab a slice of famous New York Pizza. It was enormous, cheesy and dripping with grease, everything I wanted it to be. Much more satisfied, I jumped on the subway back to Brooklyn ready for an early start. Next up: Time Square, Central Park and most of the stuff in between.